8 Top tips to make sure your pet stays safe during the festive season
Food glorious food!
Christmas is a time for feasting , and with all the lovely treats and nibbles on tap it’s really hard not to let our pets indulge too. However, there are lots of foods that can be very harmful to your pet, and some can even kill them. Things to avoid include; chocolate, onions, raisins, Christmas cake, mince pies, turkey bones and gravy. And of course a lot of us like to indulge in a festive alcoholic beverage or two! But be warned that even small amounts of alcohol can be toxic to pets and so keep Santa’s Sherry out of reach of our furry friends!
‘Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree’
Make sure that your tree is safely anchored and on a flat surface to reduce the chances of it tipping and potentially injuring your pet—particularly adventurous kittens who tend to like to climb! If your tree is alive, remember that tree sap and needles can cause mild tummy upsets if eaten or chewed. Hoover up shed needles daily to prevent your pet from snacking on them. Avoid using edible decorations on your tree as they might just prove a bit too tempting!
‘For me? You shouldn’t have!’
Presents can be a huge temptation to pets, especially if the pretty parcel contains something edible. Be careful what you hide under the tree, as inquisitive puppies who eaten a present may find themselves spending Christmas or boxing day in the vets, recovering from an operation to remove a swallowed toy or treat.
‘Batteries not included’
Batteries are everywhere at this time of year, but can be very dangerous for our pets. If you pet chews them and bursts them open it can cause chemical burns and heavy metal poisoning. If swallowed intact they can get lodged somewhere and cause a blockage. If you think your pet may have eaten a battery please give us a call immediately on 01437760111.
‘The Holly and the Ivy’
Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe are all toxic to dogs and cats. If eaten they can cause tummy upsets, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling. Poinsettias produce a sap which is irritating to pets, and if ingested in large quantities could make your pet ill. To keep your pet safe, make sure all festive plant decorations are kept well out of their reach.
‘Baby it’s cold outside’
When the temperature drops your pet may start to feel the chill if they are slim ,elderly or one of the miniature breeds. They may benefit from a jacket or coat when going outside, especially if they will be spending a lot of time standing still.
Another important thing to avoid with colder weather is car Antifreeze. This substance is highly poisonous to pets, and can kill dogs and cats. If you think your pet may have ingested antifreeze please ring us immediately on 01437760111.
Lots of pets like to spend an afternoon cosy with their owner by the fire. Take care when setting a fire indoors- remember to use a fire guard to prevent your pet getting burned.
‘Walking in a winter wonderland’
Exercising in winter months can be tricky due to the short days and wet or cold weather. Keep an eye on your pets weight throughout the winter- if they are exercising less you may need to adjust the amount of food they are getting. If you are unsure about how to go about this, please give us a call on 01437 760111 for some advice.
If you walk your dog outside in snowy weather please check their paws frequently as ice and snow can get stuck between their toes, causing injuries and irritation. We would also recommend washing paws after a walk as grit or salt used on pavements can irritate their skin . If walking at night or at dusk it is sensible to let your pet wear a reflective collar or collar with a flashing light as well as a fluorescent coat to help them be seen. It is also a good idea to make sure they wear an id tag and to check that their microchip details are up to date, just in case they get lost on a walk.
‘Deck the halls…’
When turning your home into Santa’s Grotto make sure you keep fairy light cables hidden away. They are often irresistible to pets and chewing through could result in an electric shock. Tinsel and other small tree decorations might seem like a fantastic toy for your pets—or so they think! The problem is that they can often end up swallowing them. Also remember to position candles out of harms way to avoid pets getting too close and burning themselves or knocking them over and causing fire.